Michael Chabon got the idea for his book, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, after discovering a Yiddish phrase-book called “Say it in Yiddish” from the 1950’s. He embarrassed himself by writing an essay treating the book as an anachronism and making fun of people who wanted to learn to say “I need a tourniquet” in Yiddish. He lateer laerned that the book had been commissioned by a publisher for the benefit of tourists to Israel, where Yiddish was still widely spoken. Chabon might find it interesting that Yiddish is still spoken in Ramat Gan today (and, of course, in many charedi communities). You can find more in the afterword of his book.
Michael Chabon and Yiddish
September 9, 2008 By
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